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The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration, and Resistance in World War II America

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The impeccably researched, deeply moving, never-before-told tale about a World War II internment camp in Wyoming and its extraordinary high school football team—for fans of The Boys in the Boat and The Storm on Our Shores. In the summer of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, a The impeccably researched, deeply moving, never-before-told tale about a World War II internment camp in Wyoming and its extraordinary high school football team—for fans of The Boys in the Boat and The Storm on Our Shores. In the summer of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, and sent them to internment camps across the West. Nearly 14,000 of them landed on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming, at the base of Heart Mountain. Behind barbed wire fences, they faced racism, cruelty, and frozen winters. Trying to recreate comforts from home, they built Buddhist temples and sumo wrestling pits. They grew Chinese cabbage and daikon radishes—yet there was little hope. That is, until the fall of 1943, when the camp’s high school football team, the Eagles, started its first season and finished it undefeated, crushing the competition from nearby predominantly white high schools. Amid all this excitement, American politics continued to disrupt their lives as the federal government drafted men from the camps for the front lines—including some of the Eagles. The young men faced a choice to either join the Army or resist the draft. Teammates were divided, and some were jailed for their decisions. Set during a complex political and cultural moment in America, The Eagles of Heart Mountain honors the resilience of unlikely heroes and the power of sports in a sweeping and inspirational portrait of one of the darkest moments in American history.


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The impeccably researched, deeply moving, never-before-told tale about a World War II internment camp in Wyoming and its extraordinary high school football team—for fans of The Boys in the Boat and The Storm on Our Shores. In the summer of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, a The impeccably researched, deeply moving, never-before-told tale about a World War II internment camp in Wyoming and its extraordinary high school football team—for fans of The Boys in the Boat and The Storm on Our Shores. In the summer of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, and sent them to internment camps across the West. Nearly 14,000 of them landed on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming, at the base of Heart Mountain. Behind barbed wire fences, they faced racism, cruelty, and frozen winters. Trying to recreate comforts from home, they built Buddhist temples and sumo wrestling pits. They grew Chinese cabbage and daikon radishes—yet there was little hope. That is, until the fall of 1943, when the camp’s high school football team, the Eagles, started its first season and finished it undefeated, crushing the competition from nearby predominantly white high schools. Amid all this excitement, American politics continued to disrupt their lives as the federal government drafted men from the camps for the front lines—including some of the Eagles. The young men faced a choice to either join the Army or resist the draft. Teammates were divided, and some were jailed for their decisions. Set during a complex political and cultural moment in America, The Eagles of Heart Mountain honors the resilience of unlikely heroes and the power of sports in a sweeping and inspirational portrait of one of the darkest moments in American history.

30 review for The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration, and Resistance in World War II America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    My review is in the Christian Science Monitor. My review is in the Christian Science Monitor.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Claire Reads Books

    3.5 ⭐️ Although this is presented as a story about a football team, it is, in actuality, just a really solid introduction to the history of Japanese-American incarceration during World War II. The actual football makes up maybe...15% of the book? But it helps to ground the broader history in human characters and human stories, and the entire book is chock-full of the kind of historical details, anecdotes, and ephemera that make you feel like you're paging through an old yearbook or sifting throu 3.5 ⭐️ Although this is presented as a story about a football team, it is, in actuality, just a really solid introduction to the history of Japanese-American incarceration during World War II. The actual football makes up maybe...15% of the book? But it helps to ground the broader history in human characters and human stories, and the entire book is chock-full of the kind of historical details, anecdotes, and ephemera that make you feel like you're paging through an old yearbook or sifting through a box of faded photos. That said, sometimes Pearson burrows too deeply into details that are fascinating but tangentially relevant at best, in a way that bogs the rest of the book down. I wish this book had had a little more of an arc and structure to it, but for anyone interested in learning more about this period of history, it’s a good place to start.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Normally, I have to include one disclaimer, but this time I have to include two. Firstly, I received this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway. Secondly, while not the son of an incarceree, I am the son of an immigrant from Japan. I therefore have some bias about the content of this book. As far as I have studied about this subject, Bradford Pearson has done an excellent job brushing away hearsay to find hard facts. The small scale history of sports in the Heart Mountain camp is wonderfully conn Normally, I have to include one disclaimer, but this time I have to include two. Firstly, I received this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway. Secondly, while not the son of an incarceree, I am the son of an immigrant from Japan. I therefore have some bias about the content of this book. As far as I have studied about this subject, Bradford Pearson has done an excellent job brushing away hearsay to find hard facts. The small scale history of sports in the Heart Mountain camp is wonderfully connected to the large scale history of World War II and Japanese-American Incarceration. There are some who would have us only learn the history we are comfortable with. That every action in the past had only the result of American prosperity and no side effects on the most vulnerable. This book does not shy away from the uncomfortable truths. Pearson does this in a matter-of-fact writing style that is also extremely accessible and enjoyable. I think everyone should read this book and historians should look at it as an example of what history books could best look like.

  4. 4 out of 5

    John Yingling

    Even with having knowledge of this part of American history, I was deeply saddened and angry reading about the terrible ordeal of Japanese-Americans after the events of December 7, 1941. To have your life uprooted completely and to be treated as enemies from the country you either grew up in or has become your home after many years is appalling. The author does a good job of showing the strength and resilience of these Americans as they are taken from their home and put in, essentially, concentr Even with having knowledge of this part of American history, I was deeply saddened and angry reading about the terrible ordeal of Japanese-Americans after the events of December 7, 1941. To have your life uprooted completely and to be treated as enemies from the country you either grew up in or has become your home after many years is appalling. The author does a good job of showing the strength and resilience of these Americans as they are taken from their home and put in, essentially, concentration camps, deprived of all their rights as citizens. The stories of the football team at Heart Mountain, Wyoming is an excellent example of how Japanese-Americans stood up to this outrage and showed how productive and loyal citizens they always were. And many of them showed even more how loyal they were to their country by joining the military, fighting courageously and dying to prove their worth as Americans. This is a good history of this shameful era and also a very interesting story of how sports can bring together a community.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    If you're thinking of reading this book about football you may be disappointed. A Japanese-American football team merely provides the backdrop for one of our country's biggest injustices, the incarceration and relocation of American citizens because they were of Japanese descent during World War II. The author meticulously writes a story of racial and cultural discrimination and the fear of people who look different. The history of Japanese incarceration is a stain on our nation, but one many ar If you're thinking of reading this book about football you may be disappointed. A Japanese-American football team merely provides the backdrop for one of our country's biggest injustices, the incarceration and relocation of American citizens because they were of Japanese descent during World War II. The author meticulously writes a story of racial and cultural discrimination and the fear of people who look different. The history of Japanese incarceration is a stain on our nation, but one many are unfamiliar with. This history is especially important in the current history we are apart of. I firmly believe history repeats itself. The parallel between what we did to Japanese-Americans then is too frighteningly parallel to the attitude toward some American's today. This is another dark period in our American History which seems to repeat itself over and over throughout our history. I will stop editorializing, read the book it will do you some good to know about another dark period in American History and how you can make this world a better place to live in.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    Pearson wrote a compelling read about a group of Japanese Americans who played on a football team during WWII. He covers the history of how things came to be quite well. The backstories of the individuals are also provided, adding depth and context. He also relates what happened after the war. I think this book is a valuable contribution to the more specific history of Japanese-American treatment during the Second World War. I learned quite a bit from reading it. Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Bo Pearson wrote a compelling read about a group of Japanese Americans who played on a football team during WWII. He covers the history of how things came to be quite well. The backstories of the individuals are also provided, adding depth and context. He also relates what happened after the war. I think this book is a valuable contribution to the more specific history of Japanese-American treatment during the Second World War. I learned quite a bit from reading it. Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for the advance read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This was perhaps not the optimum time to be reading this book. I expected a book of triumph over adversity in the same order as Brown’s The Boys in The Boat. Not much of a football afficionado, I had planned to skim the book to vet it as a gift for a Japanese-American friend who lives near Heart Mountain. Upon cracking the cover, instead of a narrative about resilient athletes, I got sucked into a detailed portrait of white privilege—an in-depth history lesson about blatant Caucasian American hu This was perhaps not the optimum time to be reading this book. I expected a book of triumph over adversity in the same order as Brown’s The Boys in The Boat. Not much of a football afficionado, I had planned to skim the book to vet it as a gift for a Japanese-American friend who lives near Heart Mountain. Upon cracking the cover, instead of a narrative about resilient athletes, I got sucked into a detailed portrait of white privilege—an in-depth history lesson about blatant Caucasian American hubris, racism, ignorance, and rumor-mongering that stained some of this country’s political figures and heroes of the past: Warren Delano Sr, the great grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; Franklin Roosevelt himself; General John DeWitt; Karl Bendetson, progeny of Lithuanian Jews; California attorney general Earl Warren, destined to become chief justice of the Supreme Court; among a long list of other players on the field of hatred and abuse. To read this book during a month in which an armed insurrection lead by a morally bankrupt American President, bolstered by an unending cadre of crooked, short-sighted, racist, sexist, politicians and deal makers tested my emotional state. The first half of the book delves deeply into the hows, whys, and wheres of America’s incarceration of Japanese immigrants and American citizens of Japanese ancestry. I had always assumed that this debacle was a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But Pearl Harbor was just the final straw in a lengthy effort to disenfranchise Japanese Americans. About halfway through the book, Pearson begins fleshing out the lives and personalities of young Japanese athletes—the group of young men from up and down the west coast, who came together during the frigid winter of Heart Mountain Concentration Camp to participate in sports. In this section Pearson probes the high school football intrigues of small western towns and the extraordinary obstacles a rag tag team of incarcerated, Japanese-American young men overcome to excel at a game most of them had never played before. The last quarter of the book explores the football narrative in detail. There are many characters and a lot of football jargon that was lost on me. My attention flagged in this part, but that is due to my lack of passion for sports. It was also during this section that I had the most difficulty tracking a timeline that transitions backwards and forwards between the years of 1941–45. This was a result of the author describing the life trajectory of each of the young football players as they are featured in the narrative. For me, what stands out most in this story, is the ugly racism and hypocrisy of a “government imprisoning 120,000 Japanese Americans only to ask them a year later to pick up a gun and die for the same government.” In opposition to her husband and anti-Japanese sentiment, Mrs. Roosevelt wrote a telling truth about why Japanese Americans were treated like dogs. “This happened because, in one part of our country (the west coast), they were feared as competitors, and the rest of our country knew them so little and cared so little about them that they did not even think about the principle that we in this country believe in: that of equal rights for all human beings.” I simply can’t get past how relevant that statement is to what is happening in America 80 years later.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Gregory

    When reading this book I kept thinking "why didn't we learn this in school." Deeply understanding this history if Japanese internment could have helped to prevent a Muslim ban, Mexican children in cages at the border, and other racially-enacted fear-based crimes. Pearson wrote a novel that was well researched, thoroughly documented, and moving. I hope we all learn from this chapter of history as to not repeat it again. When reading this book I kept thinking "why didn't we learn this in school." Deeply understanding this history if Japanese internment could have helped to prevent a Muslim ban, Mexican children in cages at the border, and other racially-enacted fear-based crimes. Pearson wrote a novel that was well researched, thoroughly documented, and moving. I hope we all learn from this chapter of history as to not repeat it again.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fay Gordon

    This is a book reads like a film-I hope one day it is a film!-and stays with you long after you finish reading. Bradford Pearson is a masterful storyteller and manages floor weave dense, important historical information with powerful stories of real families and young men. This is an important story that has needed to be told for decades, and Mr. Pearson’s writing tells it in a way that captures the reader’s attention and leaves a strong impression. Just wish I was in a book club to discuss-it l This is a book reads like a film-I hope one day it is a film!-and stays with you long after you finish reading. Bradford Pearson is a masterful storyteller and manages floor weave dense, important historical information with powerful stories of real families and young men. This is an important story that has needed to be told for decades, and Mr. Pearson’s writing tells it in a way that captures the reader’s attention and leaves a strong impression. Just wish I was in a book club to discuss-it left me with so many thoughts!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Kelley

    First thing you need to know about this book is it is a well written story about a terrible time in American history and the horrible treatment of a group of people. Also I would say that about 25% of this book is actually about football and the rest is concerning the initial treatment of Asian people and everything leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the internment of Japanese people. The rumors spread about these people was pure insanity at the time and the demands that some were thr First thing you need to know about this book is it is a well written story about a terrible time in American history and the horrible treatment of a group of people. Also I would say that about 25% of this book is actually about football and the rest is concerning the initial treatment of Asian people and everything leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the internment of Japanese people. The rumors spread about these people was pure insanity at the time and the demands that some were throwing out like if they really wanted to prove their loyalty to the U.S. they should volunteer to go to the internment camps. Now mind you some of these were born here and some had proved their loyalty by serving for the U.S. in world war I. It is my opinion that humanity repeats history over and over the only thing that changes is the class or origin or skin color of the people affected. The hysteria created by politicians and public figures. It is the same fears stoked each time these individuals are going to take our jobs and land and are going to over run us. These people that were raising these claims alot of them were immigrants also or their families were. You would think they would be a more understanding. The Japanese made up less then 1 % and controlled a minimal amount of the farm land in the western united states and yet the fear was they were not loyal even though they expressed full support for the United States. Then they get penalized for getting pushed to poor farm land and making a success of it and for having a strong work ethic. Now the majority of this story is around the internment camp located in Wyoming but it was interesting to read about some of the locations I have lived including here in Colorado were a camp is located two hours to the east right along the Colorado/Kansas border. This story should provoke your emotions.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    If you're coming to this book just for the football, you may be disappointed. While football, and sports in general, provides the backbone of this book, the book is really a thorough history of the treatment of Japanese Americans in general and, in particular, their treatment and internment in the years following Pearl Harbor. While I found the football through line interesting, and it works as a way to provide a window into the central figures' lives before, during, and after this time period, If you're coming to this book just for the football, you may be disappointed. While football, and sports in general, provides the backbone of this book, the book is really a thorough history of the treatment of Japanese Americans in general and, in particular, their treatment and internment in the years following Pearl Harbor. While I found the football through line interesting, and it works as a way to provide a window into the central figures' lives before, during, and after this time period, I probably would have been just as happy with another entrée into the personal and social lives of the camps (but I'll leave that to other books). Instead what gripped me the most about this book was the detailed accounting of the people in the camps, and the people choosing to put them there. My only gripe is that the narrative was constantly jumping around in place and time. I think there are ways in which that format is engaging, but here I found it often disorienting. Nevertheless, including various timelines allowed the author to go into details of every central figure's history (and sometimes family history), present (in the WWII present), and future after the war, along with the history of Japanese immigration to America. This then gives readers the larger picture (internment, racism, war) alongside individual human stories. (Thank you Atria Books and GoodReads for the advance copy.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joe Keefhaver

    Here is some dark history of the United States that certainly should not be erased. It is the story of the incarceration of Japanese-Americans and their Japan-born parents and the virulent racism aimed at them during World War II. Even today, I see posts on Facebook saying Roosevelt was justified to imprison these people because of what the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor. Some of us are seemingly still unable to differentiate between the government of Japan, which mounted the attack, and American Here is some dark history of the United States that certainly should not be erased. It is the story of the incarceration of Japanese-Americans and their Japan-born parents and the virulent racism aimed at them during World War II. Even today, I see posts on Facebook saying Roosevelt was justified to imprison these people because of what the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor. Some of us are seemingly still unable to differentiate between the government of Japan, which mounted the attack, and American citizens of Japanese ancestry who were imprisoned though charged with no crime. The backdrop of the story is the athletic achievements of the Japanese-Americans during this time, but the accounts of long-ago football games were of limited interest to me. That being said, this is an excellent explanation of the hardships endured by these Americans before, during and after the war. There was absolutely no justification for what happened. This book, or books like it, should be required reading in our schools.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mara Cat Dolan

    Getting back into my non-fic groove! It’s a really great jounralisty researched account of a football team of young men during the forced internment of Japanese Americans by the US government in the early 40s, in Heart Mountain, Wyoming. I found the most compelling parts were the explorations of how organized resistance within the camp formed — between mothers, demanding the right to feed their babies warm milk, and between young men, resisting the federal draft that sought to fill waning WWII m Getting back into my non-fic groove! It’s a really great jounralisty researched account of a football team of young men during the forced internment of Japanese Americans by the US government in the early 40s, in Heart Mountain, Wyoming. I found the most compelling parts were the explorations of how organized resistance within the camp formed — between mothers, demanding the right to feed their babies warm milk, and between young men, resisting the federal draft that sought to fill waning WWII military ranks with incarcerated men while also denying them the full rights of their citizenship and personhood. I learned a ton about the political and cultural forces that shaped how white supremacy and nationalism manifested during WWII, and this was a well-written & moving history that I think did justice to its interviewees and subjects.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Law

    "DO YOU KNOW what your people did?” George Yoshinaga spent the Sunday morning of December 7, 1941, the same way he spent most Sunday mornings: with 10 cents in his pocket and his feet trained to Knight’s Pharmacy. Those are the opening sentences and with those, Pearson had me hooked. I know nothing about football, but fear not! Pearson uses football to dive into not only the shameful chapter of Japanese incarceration during WW2, but also the political machinations that led to the stripping of Japa "DO YOU KNOW what your people did?” George Yoshinaga spent the Sunday morning of December 7, 1941, the same way he spent most Sunday mornings: with 10 cents in his pocket and his feet trained to Knight’s Pharmacy. Those are the opening sentences and with those, Pearson had me hooked. I know nothing about football, but fear not! Pearson uses football to dive into not only the shameful chapter of Japanese incarceration during WW2, but also the political machinations that led to the stripping of Japanese-Americans of their rights in the years leading up to Pearl harbor as well as daily life and indignities in the camp. Pearson also includes instances of resistance among those in the camp. My favorite is the 400-strong (successful) protest by new mothers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    I won The Eagles of Heart Mountain in a Goodreads give away. I entered to win this particular book because when I noticed it was a story of football, I thought my husband might enjoy it. However, I read it before I gave it to him. I can't speak for the history curriculum in current school classes, but in the 60's we barely touched on the incarcerations that happened during WW II. This could be a great book for history teachers to recommend their students read. Now I'm going to donate this book t I won The Eagles of Heart Mountain in a Goodreads give away. I entered to win this particular book because when I noticed it was a story of football, I thought my husband might enjoy it. However, I read it before I gave it to him. I can't speak for the history curriculum in current school classes, but in the 60's we barely touched on the incarcerations that happened during WW II. This could be a great book for history teachers to recommend their students read. Now I'm going to donate this book to our local school library.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dan Gibson

    A truly spectacularly written book that also tells a story that definitely needed to be told. Pearson's such a good writer that it's almost infuriating, but here the research is probably the star - I can't even imagine how he managed to pull together all these threads, but I'm glad he did. It's embarrassing how little I need about the mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the sports successes at Heart Mountain add a spoonful of something resembling sugar to a tough (to A truly spectacularly written book that also tells a story that definitely needed to be told. Pearson's such a good writer that it's almost infuriating, but here the research is probably the star - I can't even imagine how he managed to pull together all these threads, but I'm glad he did. It's embarrassing how little I need about the mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the sports successes at Heart Mountain add a spoonful of something resembling sugar to a tough (to say the least) time in American history and a framework to think about humanity and how it can get lost and regained in times of strife.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Todd Kiger

    This book is a well written exposé on the plight of the Japanese-Americans and Japanese living in America immediately after Pearl Harbor and their subsequent internment, relocation, imprisonment, or whatever you want to call it. The author only loosely centers the book on the Heart Mountain Eagles football team. Bradford Pearson does an admirable job in describing the treatment of these loyal Americans who were subjected to an extreme racial hatred in the mid 1940’s. At times Pearson strays from This book is a well written exposé on the plight of the Japanese-Americans and Japanese living in America immediately after Pearl Harbor and their subsequent internment, relocation, imprisonment, or whatever you want to call it. The author only loosely centers the book on the Heart Mountain Eagles football team. Bradford Pearson does an admirable job in describing the treatment of these loyal Americans who were subjected to an extreme racial hatred in the mid 1940’s. At times Pearson strays from the story at hand to provide historical information that is interesting and adds depth to the story but there are sections where you need a mental scorecard to keep up about whom the author is writing. Taking nothing away from what this rag tag football team accomplished over two years, its a feel good story written inside a much more interesting historical account of how the US government treated its own citizens. Read it for more historical accounts, not as a sports book. Very good read though.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Drew Pearson

    Pearson deftly navigates both an elaborate (and necessary) history of Japanese immigration on the Pacific coast, and the weaving of dozens of individual experiences around incarceration. The sum total is a read that is equal parts informative and human. Football as microcosm and metaphor and escape is not exceptionally rare as a theme; Pearson nails it by wrapping that nugget in layer after layer of personal interest, historical honesty, and pure heart.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nan

    A tough listen, based on the subject matter. And how have we learned so little? Well researched.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    This was a very well researched and informative book focused on one of the darkest times in American history, WWII, especially the internment of Japanese-American citizens. While there is a focus on the football team that the young Japanese-American men formed when they were "incarcerated," the overarching point of the book is to focus on the hardships that these Americans faced due to their heritage. History cannot and should not be forgotten; it is the knowledge, both good and bad, that histor This was a very well researched and informative book focused on one of the darkest times in American history, WWII, especially the internment of Japanese-American citizens. While there is a focus on the football team that the young Japanese-American men formed when they were "incarcerated," the overarching point of the book is to focus on the hardships that these Americans faced due to their heritage. History cannot and should not be forgotten; it is the knowledge, both good and bad, that history provides that allows us to improve and to try to never let something similar happen again. I recommend this book, especially for people who enjoy history and who want to know more. **I received my copy from a Goodreads giveaway.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carol Mladinich

    A surprising book. Not only does it tell the story of young men yanked out of their high school years in California and put behind barbed wire just because they were Japanese. The book also told the story of Japanese immigration to the US and the extreme prejudice against them. I never knew those first arrivals were never able to become naturalized citizens. Great read!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christine Merrill

    Very compelling nonfiction account of the Japanese-American incarceration camps during WW2. A true tragedy and blemish on our country's history, and this thoughtfully researched account brings the stories of the Japanese-American community to life in a way that's tough to put down. An especially poignant and necessary read during this new wave of anti-Asian discrimination. Very compelling nonfiction account of the Japanese-American incarceration camps during WW2. A true tragedy and blemish on our country's history, and this thoughtfully researched account brings the stories of the Japanese-American community to life in a way that's tough to put down. An especially poignant and necessary read during this new wave of anti-Asian discrimination.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sharolyn Stauffer

    Outstanding research and writing. Very close to five stars for me. My Wyoming friends, especially, should read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I won an advanced copy of this book on Goodreads. A powerful book on how so many lives changed due to the illegal incarceration of Japanese Americans by the government and taking away their liberties, rights and freedom. Most of this book is about the history of how the progression of the incarceration played out rather than about the football team itself; most likely due to the lack of information on the team itself, but still overall a very interesting and sobering read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Reena

    Pearson takes a subject that is generally skipped in most history classes and sheds a powerful light on it. By bringing in information from those who were directly incarcerated in the camps, to those advocating for their incarceration or release, and showing how the actions of that time period directly resulted in the Camps being accepted and needed, one can see how racism truly changed lives (either for the better or worse, depending on who is asked, read to the end!)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    An in-depth look at a high school football team formed at Heart Mountain where Japanese-Americans were unfairly incarcerated during WW2. This is a very readable and detailed addition to the genre of reportage on activities during this period and should be interesting to both sports fans and history fans.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Justin Bitner

    Dives deeper into the day-to-day lives of the incarcerees at Heart Mountain in Wyoming, including the stories of their various athletic teams.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Senn

    I looked forward to this book coming out. As soon as it crossed my radar, a countdown started to publication day. I was one of the very first to get it from my library. Unfortunately it was a little bit of a let down. (probably closer to a 3 1/2 star than a 4) Don't get me wrong, it was a VERY well researched book, but it falls prey to the old "title describes a completely different book than you actually read" dilemma. First off, I'm 100% for a developed history/backstory. Unfortunately, the au I looked forward to this book coming out. As soon as it crossed my radar, a countdown started to publication day. I was one of the very first to get it from my library. Unfortunately it was a little bit of a let down. (probably closer to a 3 1/2 star than a 4) Don't get me wrong, it was a VERY well researched book, but it falls prey to the old "title describes a completely different book than you actually read" dilemma. First off, I'm 100% for a developed history/backstory. Unfortunately, the author took it a little too far in this book in my opinion. You are well past the 100 page mark (a third of the way into this book since notes begin on page 304) before you get any significant mention of football or the "main characters" of the title. Sure, two of them are mentioned at the very opening, but combined it amounts to maybe 3 or 4 pages. Second, I came away knowing FAR more about the movers and shakers behind the decision for incarceration than I did about the actual Eagles themselves. I didn't need to know the details about their lives and their ancestor's lives, I get it, they are really bad people and super racists of the worst kind. Third, there were several instances where someone was mentioned and I found myself asking "should I care about this person? have they been introduced?" Where some people got a FULL introduction and family tree and history, others just appeared in a fragment of a sentence and then were referred to throughout the remainder of the book like we should have known them the whole time. All in all, it was a fascinating book, I just felt like the title was misleading. Football, and indeed the incarcerees took a back seat to politics. This is the authors first book, so I see good things ahead and will definitely add him to the list of authors to keep an eye on.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cheryle

    I live about 100 miles from the site of this relocation camp. I have driven by and wondered about the many people who were interred here during WWII due to the hysteria against the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. This is a story of some young people who used sports to overcome some of the stigma that surrounded the camp. In the summer of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, and sent them to internment ca I live about 100 miles from the site of this relocation camp. I have driven by and wondered about the many people who were interred here during WWII due to the hysteria against the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. This is a story of some young people who used sports to overcome some of the stigma that surrounded the camp. In the summer of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, and sent them to internment camps across the West. Nearly 14,000 of them landed on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming, at the base of Heart Mountain. Behind barbed wire fences, they faced racism, cruelty, and frozen winters. Trying to recreate comforts from home, they built Buddhist temples and sumo wrestling pits. They grew Chinese cabbage and daikon radishes—yet there was little hope. That is, until the fall of 1943, when the camp’s high school football team, the Eagles, started its first season and finished it undefeated, crushing the competition from nearby predominantly white high schools. Amid all this excitement, American politics continued to disrupt their lives as the federal government drafted men from the camps for the front lines—including some of the Eagles. The young men faced a choice to either join the Army or resist the draft. Teammates were divided, and some were jailed for their decisions. Set during a complex political and cultural moment in America, The Eagles of Heart Mountain honors the resilience of unlikely heroes and the power of sports in a sweeping and inspirational portrait of one of the darkest moments in American history.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emma Locke

    While the book is really more about the history that led to Japanese incarceration during WWII than football, it is an excellent read. The first 100 pages dragged for me, the next 200 flew. I learned so much, all of my knowledge of internment camps had come from word of mouth telling a rather than from a historical perspective prior to this book. I wish that the author would have spent more time talking about the ways in which individuals in the camps felt about football, as so many attended the While the book is really more about the history that led to Japanese incarceration during WWII than football, it is an excellent read. The first 100 pages dragged for me, the next 200 flew. I learned so much, all of my knowledge of internment camps had come from word of mouth telling a rather than from a historical perspective prior to this book. I wish that the author would have spent more time talking about the ways in which individuals in the camps felt about football, as so many attended the games. I don’t know that I found it hopeful, but I did find it honest.

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